More employees taking the helm on Capitol Hill with new owners at Scratch Deli

When former Scratch Deli owner Ian Thackaberry wanted to find someone to take over his business, he didn’t have to look far. No farther, in fact, than his own kitchen and counter crew.

“The old owner came to each of us individually being, like, “Hey, would you have any interest in doing this?” Scratch’s Daniel O’Connell said.

As it turned out, they would. But only if they could do it together, and share the responsibility of running a business they love.

The result? O’Connell says he and three coworkers — Brandon Frosch, Erika Macias and Laura Rains — teamed up and bought Scratch from Thackaberry on October 1st. They also took over the lease to the building that houses the deli.

“I think it worked out for all of us,” says O’Connell. “It was a very serendipitous occurrence.” Continue reading

Queen Anne’s Cake Skincare expanding to 12th Ave

1475173463534Since 2009, Cake Skincare estheticians have been building a reputation as the eyebrow experts of Queen Anne. Come later this fall, they will be making a run for the title on Capitol Hill with a new location on 12th Ave.

“We want to make sure we can give people on the other side of Mercer the option to see us,” said Cake founder Katrina Rising.

Cake’s second home will be near 12th and Pike at the space formerly occupied by Manhattan steakhouse, which closed in November. In addition to brows, Rising and her team of six provide facials, sugaring, waxing, lash extensions and lash lifts.

On Sunday, the Cake crew will be at 11th Ave’s Chophouse Row for a Capitol Hill “mini teaser debut,” offering free skin and brow consultations, goody bags, and samples. Continue reading

Film festival explores Capitol Hill’s ‘rapid development and change’ in two minutes or less

A quick search through Craigslist will tell you how artists are getting priced out of Capitol Hill. Not so easily quantifiable is what effect that is having on artists and the neighborhood as a whole. A series of 2-minute dance films is seeking to shed some light on the subject.

Dance Film Challenge is a film festival on Capitol Hill about Capitol Hill sponsored by Capitol Hill arts institutions. The challenge: Teams submit two-minute dance films “reflecting the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the crossroads that Capitol Hill artists, communities and residents are facing in this period of rapid development and change.” Winners selected by the audience will be given a one month residency at the V2 temporary art space on 11th Ave. Ten submissions will be screened Thursday at Northwest Film Forum. Continue reading

Take a look inside the Capitol Hill Real World Seattle house

The production is wrapped and the 12th Ave space transformed into living quarters and a set for the MTV reality series Real World is being flipped back to offices. Editors are probably frantically splicing together dramatic scenes in time for the show’s announced October premier. Even if you aren’t interested in the fabricated human drama that played out across the neighborhood, you probably want to know what kind of couches they sat on, right? Warning: contains couch spoilers. Here is a sneak preview complete with “the only room with doors” in the house — the Real World confessional.

Police investigate suspicious package outside E Precinct — UPDATE

The package outside the E Precinct. (Image: @chris84wa via Twitter)

Seattle Police closed several blocks on Capitol Hill Sunday afternoon while investigating a suspicious package outside the department’s 12th and Pine East Precinct.

Police deployed a robot to investigate what appeared to be a black suitcase on 12th Ave just south of E Pine. Police said streets would be closed periodically in the area as the investigation continued.

UPDATE: A SPD officer picked up the package around 1:45 PM. Police began reopening streets to pedestrians and letting residents back inside buildings.

UPDATE 9/19/2016: SPD tells us that the item turned out to not be dangerous but the man believed responsible for leaving it outside the precinct was taken into custody and is currently being held in King County Jail after being booked on investigation of a “threat to bomb.”

Capitol Hill’s first float spa coming to 12th and Madison

IMG_8731If a counterbalance exists to Capitol Hill’s abundance of bars and restaurants, sensory deprivation therapy might be it. The neighborhood’s first flotation therapy pods are landing at the intersection of 12th, E Union and Madison as Urban Float plans to open its fifth location in the Viva Capitol Hill building.

The long wedge-shaped retail space had previously been marketed as a showcase opportunity for a bar or restaurant with at least one big project backing out after making plans for the giant wedge-shaped space.

Urban Float founder Joe Beaudry said an open date has not been set although posters for the business recently went up on Viva’s windows. “After some review and customer feedback it was made apparent that Capitol Hill with its dense demographic was a perfect location for us to expand,” Beaudry said. Continue reading

12th and John ‘squatter houses’ finally demolished making way for microhousing project

IMG_8725A doomed trio of three old houses have been demolished at the corner of 12th and John to make way for a a four-story apartment building with 51 apartment units.

The houses were involved in two separate fires earlier this year likely caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials” as squatters had been using the old homes that stood boarded up awaiting their demolition to make way for the new microhousing development.

City inspectors met with the Hardy Development Company this spring to discuss ongoing issues at their properties, which are slated for the new 51-unit apartment building. Hardy promised to secure the houses and clean up the properties prior to the fires. Continue reading

Velocity Dance marks 20 years in motion on Capitol Hill

Velocity Dance Center has fueled the careers of dancers and artists and provided a space and classes on Capitol Hill for anyone with an inspiration to move their bodies.

“It would be very detrimental to the entire city if it wasn’t here,” Kate Wallich, a dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher in Velocity’s community told CHS.

The dance center’s entire 2016 season has been celebrating Velocity. The Fall Kick-Off offers audiences a way to relive the season and experience a taste of the upcoming 2017 season. Performances are at 7:30 PM Sept. 23-25 at wthe Velocity Founders Theater, 1621 12th Ave.

About ten years ago, Velocity’s longevity was tested, but the community’s support gave the center a breath of new life. The center hit some rocky ground financially in 2007 when the Odd Fellows Hall at 10th and Pine, its home since 1996, was sold and the nonprofit’s rent was hiked. Continue reading

The Real World ends production on Capitol Hill for show’s 32nd season


(Image: @mtvchallenge28 via Twitter)

The time has come for the Real World cast and crew to pack up and bid farewell to Capitol Hill. Filming has wrapped for the 32nd season of the reality TV show that will feature a group of strangers living and partying on Capitol Hill, according to fan sites tracking the production.

18 years after the first season in Seattle, Real World producers staked out a new set in the 12th Ave Ballou Wright building between Pike and Pine. The office space-turned-Real World house was previously occupied by digital design firm Creature, which filed for bankruptcy shortly after leaving the space in May.MTV representatives have not returned calls on the status of the production. A representative for building owner Hunters Capital told CHS the space will likely be put back into use as an office. The show’s production company leased the space through September.

Continue reading

Northwest Film Forum gets an overhaul during August intermission

12th Ave indie film house and cinema community center the Northwest Film Forum is taking an intermission this month while the space gets a much needed facelift. Work is currently underway at the theater and facility is to expand the lobby and add a new concession counter and box office.

All four cinema doors are also getting swapped out for oak-core doors, which NWFF says will dramatically improve the theater’s soundproofing. Exterior renovations will setup work for a new awning to be installed in the fall. The renovations are being partially funded through the city’s Office of Arts & Culture. Continue reading

Capitol Hill photographer captures ‘The Pretty and the Gritty’ of Seattle

Durkan on his Broadway home turf (Image: CHS)

Durkan on his Broadway home turf (Image: CHS)

The newest collection of Capitol Hill photographer Tim Durkan’s work can be seen at 12th Ave Arts this month, allowing the viewer to experience the evoked emotions of seeing Seattle both in its expected beauty of Space Needle moons and ferry boats, and the city streets in the raw. The show makes a good stop during Thursday night’s August Capitol Hill Art Walk.

“The show is really about the many sides of Seattle,” Durkan told CHS about the 12th Ave Arts exhibition in an interview at his regular hangout, Cafe Solstice at 10th and Thomas. “I’ve seen people say ‘hey, your pictures are beautiful, they’ve really helped me make up my mind and I’m going to move to Seattle.’ and that’s awesome, but there’s this other side of this city that’s important, that seldom gets told and that’s the gritty. Homelessness is an issue that I care a lot about, especially as it relates to addiction.” Continue reading

Stumptown to stop roasting coffee on 12th Ave

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

A pillar of Capitol Hill’s cafe scene is ending its coffee roasting operation on 12th Ave. Sprudge broke the news Tuesday that Portland-based Stumptown Coffee will shut down the roasters at its Capitol Hill shop that opened in 2007. The decision will end the Portland-based company’s days of roasting beans in Seattle.

A person familiar with the move told CHS that ongoing issues with the shop’s old building and plans for Seattle University development in the area factored into the decision. Ten stories of office and dorms are planned to rise above the coffee shop as part of the private university’s expansion plan. We have questions out to Stumptown about the future of the coffee shop and how Seattle U’s plans will impact their operations.

UPDATE: Stumptown vice president Matt Loundsbury told CHS that in addition to having no space for a much needed new roaster, roasting on 12th Ave would become impossible amid Seattle U’s expansion. “What we understand the plans to be will make it really hard to do what we do,” he said. Continue reading